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Case details

Dawn Satterswaite and 2 others (Respondents) v Bobbette Smalling (Appellant) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0030

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary

Issue

Whether certain items seized pursuant to a warrant from the premises of the Respondent, an attorney-at-law, were outside the scope of the warrant or covered by legal professional privilege (LPP), such that their unsealing and examination by Jamaica’s Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) should not have been permitted.

Facts

The Appellant is a police officer working within MOCA and involved in a joint investigation between that agency and US authorities in connection with money laundering by an individual named Hamilton. The Respondent was Hamilton’s attorney-at-law while the Intervenors are his sisters. Each of the three (and others) were alleged to have been involved in the Jamaican side of Hamilton’s money laundering activities.

A search and seizure warrant was obtained for and executed upon the Respondent’s home and business premises. The Respondent asserted that items seized were covered by LPP, so all of the material was bagged and sealed. In due course, an order was sought before Straw J for the court to examine the material, determining what fell within the scope of the warrant and what nonetheless was not to be examined by MOCA due to its being covered by LPP. Straw J made the orders sought, but the Respondent appealed and was successful in arguing that certain material should be immediately returned as it could not pertain to “criminal conduct” within the meaning of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2007 (POCA). The Appellant seeks leave to appeal to the Board from that decision.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Bobette Smalling

Respondent(s)

Dawn Satterswaite

Appeal

Justices

Lord Hodge, Lord Briggs, Lord Hamblen, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens

Hearing start date

21 June 2022

Hearing finish date

21 June 2022

Watch hearing
21 Jun 2022 Morning session Afternoon session